content marketing starter's kitI think we can all agree that today’s media environment has become saturated beyond the point of no return. We literally take in hundreds of marketing messages per day, whether we realize it or not. As a result, the “old way” of marketing has taken a backseat to something truly new and exciting—content marketing.

Marketing has become more than just telling potential clients repeatedly how good your company is and why you offer the best products or services on the market. You can now show people that you’re the best by providing engaging, valuable content on a regular basis.

How does this work? There are many avenues in which you can offer this content, including through blog content, social media, press releases, articles and white papers. The idea is to offer your audience valuable information, such as how they can solve common problems you know they deal with regularly.

A simple concept

For example, we’ve worked with one client over the past couple years who owns an auto dealership and repair shop. Looking to drive more traffic to the company’s website, our copywriters have developed weekly blog posts on various aspects of the automotive industry, including how to find the right vehicle, how to properly maintain a car and common reasons why a vehicle’s “Check Engine Soon” light comes on.

In this way, the company is offering—through its website and blog—valuable information that readers can apply to their daily lives. As a result, more people have been visiting the company’s website and turning to the dealership when looking for a new car or seeking a trusted auto mechanic.

So what does a good content marketing starter’s kit look like? For large companies with significant marketing budgets, a lot can go into content marketing. The good news, however, is that even with a modest budget, you can develop some seriously effective content that draws people to your brand.

Putting together your starter’s kit

The following is what I would recommend as a good content marketing starter’s kit:

  • Regular blog content. To start, you should consider keeping your blog updated with at least one post per week, on a topic related to your business. It’s often helpful to brainstorm 10-15 topics at a time and develop an editorial schedule so that you’re not scrambling for blog content ideas on a weekly basis.
  • Consistent social media posts. Like a blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms need to be updated constantly, or else it can have a negative impact on your brand. A copywriter can help you develop once-daily posts, which you can even schedule in advance using a service like HootSuite.
  • Monthly or quarterly press releases. In case you were wondering, the press release is not dead. In fact, through both local and national distribution, you can gain traction in the media and drive more traffic to your website. There are numerous top-tier press release distribution services out there, including PRWeb, PR Newswire and Business Wire.

These three tactics will help you establish your blog, keep your social media updated and allow you to share news and updates on your company. As you continue to grow your content marketing strategy, you can also begin creating white papers, which are longer pieces of content that allow you to share more technical or complex information on a particular issue related to your business.

Going back to the auto dealership example, a writer with our firm has helped the client write several three- to four-page white papers on a semi-annual basis, including about changes in the auto market and how they affect the prices of new and used vehicles.

In addition, you may explore opportunities to write guest articles or blog content for trade publications or popular blogs in your industry. This allows you to not only expand your reach, but also establish links on credible websites and blogs that lead back to your own website.

In many ways, content marketing is the great equalizer in that it gives even the smallest business a chance to leverage its expertise and enhance its reach. If you’ve been wondering about the impact content marketing could have on your company, there’s no better time to start than now. Take this content marketing starter’s kit into consideration as you begin the process.

Steve Bailey is president of ProPRcopy, one of North America’s leading content writing agencies. The firm assists a wide range of brands with their content creation and marketing efforts.